In particular, women in the evening often suffer from heavy, swollen legs. Thick legs can have different causes and are initially not a cause for concern. However in permanently swollen legs, a doctor should be consulted to exclude a Lipedema as the cause. A Lipedema is a fat distribution disorder that is also known as rider pants phenomenon or pillar legs. A Lipedema can be treated with the right therapy.
What is a Lipedema?
Lipoedema occur almost exclusively in women. The disease causes retention of subcutaneous fatty tissue that cause swelling on the affected body parts. With progression of the disease the accumulation of adipose tissue expand increasingly.
The fat deposits are usually symmetrically on thighs, hips, butt, inner side of the knee or upper arms, later also on the forearms and-schenkeln up to the ankles. Foot and hand are usually not affected. A slimmer upper body is typical of Lipoedema, so that the legs are overly thick.
Symptoms of Lipödems
Lipedema patients usually suffer from thick legs with visible areas of fatty tissue. Especially after a long time sitting or standing or on warm days the legs swell often even further through additional water retention.
Less often, the complaints on the poor occur. Following symptoms are also to observe the body concerned:
- Gravity, pressure and feeling of tightness
- After little bumps of bruises
- Spider veins
- rough, partly Nodular skin and orange peel skin (cellulite)
Causes of Lipödemen
The exact causes of Lipödemen are not yet clear. A genetic predisposition as well as hormonal triggers are considered likely. Lipoedema occur frequently for the first time or after puberty, pregnancy or menopause (menopause). Obesity is not one of the causes, but it can negatively affect the course of the disease.
In men, Lipoedema occur only in exceptional cases, for example, when a hormone disorder caused by a liver damage or hormone therapy.
Diagnosis of Lipödems
The diagnosis of Lipödems is based on a vision and key findings, patient history, as well as, where appropriate, on the basis of ultrasound findings.
In particular, a specialist doctor should exclude that the symptoms were caused by other diseases. Following diseases in question here to the example:
- Adipostas (obesity), which occurs often with a Lipedema
- Lymphedema (water retention), that occur usually asymmetrically
- Lipohyperthrophie (a harmless fat accumulation), which can become a Lipedema
History of Lipödemen
Lipoedema are not curable and can worsen even in the course of the disease. Especially if left untreated. Thus, the fat pad in the stage occur 1 especially at the hips, thighs and the inside of the knee. The skin is typically fine-knotty (orange peel).
Disease progresses, the skin appears rough knotty with dents ("mattress phenomenon"), until at the stage 3 finally emerge large flaps of skin and-wülste. The Lipedema can extend up to the ankles and overlap them. One speaks then of the so-called "pillar"leg.
Lymphedema as a result of a Lipödems
In the course of the disease, the fat cells through the Lipedema enlarged and deformed increasingly impede the lymphatic drainage. In the cell gaps arise from water retention called lymphedema. This cause also swelling of the hands and feet.
A Lipedema remains untreated for years, also the large lymphatic vessels are covered by this drain error. One speaks then of a Lymphedema or a Lipolymphödem, a combination of Lipo - and lymphedema.
Decongestion therapy against Lipoedema
The decongestion therapy is based on the treatment of Lipödems. It requires daily wearing compression stockings or associations to reduce the size of the Lipödems or to keep constant. Compression devices are used within the framework of the "instrumental intermittent compression" (AIK).
In addition, removal of edema can be favored by manual lymphatic drainage, a special kind of massage. Lymphology physiotherapy are also functional rehabilitation and chest physiotherapy.
Other forms of treatment at the Lipedema
At the Lipedema, only a surgical fat removal (liposuction) can remove the morbidly altered fatty tissue. This, however, is the risk of destroying the superficial lymphatic vessels, which may entail additional lymphedema. A detailed consultation by a specialist is therefore essential.
In alternative medicine, such as for example the homeopathy, salts and jojoba oil used for therapy.
Sports and healthy nutrition are important elements of treatment for Lipödemen, even if they do not immediately relieve the symptoms. Regular exercise and a long-term nutrition will help to reduce the weight and to avoid additional excess weight as this would favour the progression of the disease.
Physical activity also reduces water retention. Avoid targeted muscle on the affected areas and sports that require sudden movements. For example, walking or aquagym are suitable.
Skin care relieves symptoms
Also the proper skin care can relieve the symptoms of Lipödems. Sensitive skin should be gently rub with a special lotion and not irritated by tight clothing or self massage in addition.
Psychological consequences of Lipödemen
Lipoedema often represent a heavy psychological burden for the parties concerned. The patients suffer not only from physical pain, but also emotional.
The negative reactions from fellow human beings, the impaired of quality of life, as well as the frustration by unsuccessful diets and sports programs sometimes cause depression or eating disorders. Psychological support is therefore always a successful therapy of Lipödems.